A Model for the Determination of the Optimal Location of Building Integrated Photo-Voltaic Collector Array in the Urban Environment.


Industrial Design Program, the Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology.


by Eran Amir , under supervision of Associate professor Guedi Capeluto.



The interest in maximizing solar potential on buildings and open spaces is reappearing in recent years with several goals: maximizing the solar irradiance collection for heating in the cold season, improving shading in the warm season, and increasing electricity production throughout the year.

Estimating the collected solar irradiance on a building.s envelope in an urban environment requires an analysis of the mutual shading of adjacent buildings. This is not a simple task when working on a dense and complex urban environment. However, the tools available today to urban planners throughout the planning phase do not sufficiently satisfy these requirements. Albeit the advantages of power savings and quality improvement of urban buildings and spaces, insufficient utilization of Solar potential today is caused by lack of accessible software tools, insensitivity of planners to solar effects, and customer.s own financial considerations. Moreover, implementing .solar constraints. during a later planning phase is expensive and prevents any major changes.

The purpose of this work was to develop a simple design computation tool for Architects and urban planners which will enable them to consider the solar effects during the initial planning phase, thus promoting the use of renewable clean energy. This tool aims to assist planners in determining the optimal location of BIPV (Building Integrated Photo-Voltaic) collectors in an urban environment in order to improve the efficiency of the deployed collectors, better integrate them with the building.s exterior, and to improve the appearance of the fa.ades and the roofs which acts as the fifth fa.ade. This tool also assists in improving thermal comfort on open spaces by determining the mutual influence of the buildings surrounding these spaces, on their solar potential.

The leading concept in this work is to display the solar potential of the building as an additional information layer of the 3D model inside the modeling environment. This allows the modeler to dynamically view and consider the different solar irradiance, lighting and shading parameters, while constantly improving the design.
We hope this work will contribute to better planning of Energy Conservation Buildings, and promote sustainable design.

Homepage for IRD4SU computation tool

You can download the abstract for my research here.